Allergic vasculitis

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Allergic vasculitis

Definition

Allergic vasculitis is hypersensitivity to a drug or foreign substance that leads to inflammation and damage to blood vessels of the skin.

Alternative Names

Vasculitis - allergic hypersensitivity; Cutaneous leukocytoclastic vasculitis

Causes

Allergic vasculitis is caused by an allergic reaction to a drug or other foreign substance.

Symptoms

  • Skin lesions usually located on legs, buttocks, or trunk
  • Purpura
  • Blisters on the skin
  • Urticaria (hives), may last longer than 24 hours
  • Necrotic ulcers (open sores with dead tissue)

Exams and Tests

The diagnosis is primarily based on your sysmptoms and how the skin looks after you take a certain medicine or are exposed to a foreign substance (antigen).

Results from an ESR (sed rate) test may be high. Skin biopsy shows inflammation of the blood vessels.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation.

Aspirin or corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce inflammation of the blood vessels. (DO NOT give aspirin to children except as advised by the health care provider.)

If possible, your doctor may tell you to stop taking the medicine that caused this condition. Do not stop taking any medicine without first talking to your doctor.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Allergic vasculitis usually goes away over time.

Possible Complications

  • Permanent damage to the blood vessels or skin with scarring
  • Inflammation of the blood vessels affects the internal organs

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have symptoms of allergic vasculitis.

Prevention

Avoid exposure to medications to which there are known allergies.

Allergic vasculitis
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